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Move /home to it’s own partition January 29, 2006

Posted by Carthik in administration, guides, ubuntu.
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Having the “/home” directory tree on it’s own partition has several advantages, the biggest perhaps being that you can reinstall the OS (or even a different distro of Linux) without losing all your data. You can do this by keeping the /home partition unchanged and reinstalling the OS which goes in the “/” (root) directory, which can be on a seperate partition.

But you, like me, did not know this when you first installed Ubuntu, and have not created a new partition for “/home” when you first installed Ubuntu. Despair not, it is really simple to move “/home” to its own partition.

First, create a partition of sufficient size for your “/home” directory. You may have to use that new hard drive, or adjust/resize the existing partition on your current hard-drive to do this. Let me skip those details.

Next, mount the new partition:
$mkdir /mnt/newhome
$sudo mount -t ext3 /dev/hda5 /mnt/newhome

(You have to change the “hda5″ in the above to the correct partition label for the new partition. Also, the above assumes that the new partition you created is formatted as an ext3 partition. Change the “ext3″ to whatever filesystem the drive is formatted to.)

Now, Copy files over:
Since the “/home” directory will have hardlinks, softlinks, files and nested directories, a regular copy (cp) may not do the job completely. Therefore, we use something we learn from the Debian archiving guide:
$cd /home/
$find . -depth -print0 | cpio --null --sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

Make sure everything copied over correctly. You might have to do some tweaking and honing to make sure you get it all right, just in case.

Next, unmount the new partition:
$sudo umount /mnt/newhome

Make way for the new “home”
$sudo mv /home /old_home

Since we moved /home to /old_home, there is no longer a /home directory. So first we should recreate a new /home by:
sudo mkdir /home

Mount the new home:
$sudo mount /dev/hda5 /home
(Again, you have to change “hda5″ to whatever the new partition’s label is.)

Cursorily verify that everything works right.

Now, you have to tell Ubuntu to mount your new home when you boot. Add a line to the “/etc/fstab” file that looks like the following:

/dev/hda5 /home ext3 nodev,nosuid 0 2
(Here, change the partition label “hda5″ to the label of the new partition, and you may have to change “ext3″ to whatever filesystem you chose for your new “home”)

Once all this is done, and everything works fine, you can delete the “/old_home” directory by using:
$sudo rm -r /old_home

Michael, Russ and Magnus posted this solution on the ubuntu-users mailing list a few months ago.

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Comments»

1. Ubuntu Linux Blog of ralph - January 29, 2006

Move the home directory to a separate partition

If you want to move your home directory to a separate partition check out the Ubuntu Blog » Move /home to it’s own partition. It’s no big deal to do the move if you still have your home directory on the same partition as your system.

2. benplaut - January 29, 2006

Keep in mind, this is somewhat risky… messing with fstab can be dangerous, so double check for typos

Allen - April 28, 2009

My advice on the above, I used it and is if a given action does not go through and you receive error msg. then BE CERTAIN you reverse what you have done. I did not and received an error 15 at boot. So knowing far less then you and not knowing how to recover, not having access I had to reinstall. I am sure you have more patience then me for I gave up on home.

3. Rocco Stanzione - January 29, 2006

I eventually figured out that /opt is a great directory to make a separate partition also. Most of the stuff that gets installed in /opt (Adobe Acrobat, Crossover Office, Cedega, etc) is statically compiled and should work with any version of any distro, so when you upgrade or decide to try another distro, these packages (that oh-by-the-way probably aren’t shipped with your distro) will still be intact. Since I have /opt handy for that purpose, I also move the fake-windows directories created by cxoffice and Cedega there, and make symlinks in my home directory. That way I don’t have to reinstall my Windows software when I upgrade either.

4. Limulus - January 30, 2006

Two items: first a typo in the line:

$sudo mount /dev/hda5 /ment/newhome

“ment” should read “mnt”

Second, as I recall, you can use the Ubuntu install disk (with caution!) to manage partitions, including resizing, copying, etc. Duplicating a partition this way would guarantee an exact bit-for-bit copy ;)

5. mahesh - January 30, 2006

Nice blog here man i’m ubuntu user and find your stuff quite effective

6. Chuck - January 30, 2006

Yes, great blog, thanks. My comment is that it would be helpful if you would expand, “You might have to do some tweaking and honing to make sure you get it all right, just in case.” to at least explain the essence of what we’d be tweaking and honing.

7. ubuntonista - January 30, 2006

Chuck,

What I meant by that was that you might want to manually check for the presence of important files, make sure that all the files that matter to you got copied without errors etc.

Links, if any that point to things in /home/* will not work until you are done entirely with the moving-over process.

When copying things, it is always good to be careful, and check, and double-check to see if anything is missing, and there is no tool which will do this.

You can, however use tools like du (to measure the diskspace used) on the copy and the original to compare the sizes to see if everything copied over fine.

Nothing to worry – all I meant was that you may want to come up with more imaginative ways to copy a directory tree and verify it – but the method I mentioned would work just fine. Just that I can’t vouch for it on all the computers, for all users, since I don’t know the past history of those systems — maybe the users have done some wierd customization that they need to account for. You know – the super-geeks and so on :)

8. Ganesh - February 3, 2006

i just installed gentoo alongwith ubuntu(a triple boot system with windows)…and i would like to be working with the same /home in both linux-es..is it possible to mount /home from ubuntu partition into my gentoo partition?

9. Free Hogg » Blog Archive » links for 2006-02-13 - February 13, 2006

[...] Ubuntu Blog » Move /home to it’s own partition (tags: linux ubuntu) [...]

10. simon - February 26, 2006

I’m quite glad I found this guide, I followed it and everything works except for the fstab….

Here’s what I get when I connect with putty:

“Could not chdir to home directory /home/simon: No such file or directory”
the /home directory is then empty, it should have a folder called “simon”

I had to tweak the fstab just to get it to boot into console, it use to complain about the directory not existing/being ext2 when I set it as ext3.

Here’s my fstab:
/dev/hdf1 /home auto defaults 0 2
replacing auto with ext3 doesn’t chage the result.

Any help to get /home to automount upon a reset would be appreiated

11. teaman - March 3, 2006

Great blog and very useful.

I am a complete newbie to Linux/Ubuntu, so please excuse any ignorance. I followed the instructions above exactly and all went well until I got to the ‘Mount the new home’ section, when it said that it could not mount /home as it did not exist.

After a little research, I found that the ‘mv’ command had, in effect, changed the name of /home to /old_home and there was no /home folder in the file system.

I then just ran the following instruction-

mkdir /home

and after that the mount new home command worked fine.

One query though- I appended the line to /etc/fstab as above and all works OK, but now I have two lines in that file referring to /dev/hda5 – is that correct, or should I delete the original line?

12. ubuntonista - March 3, 2006

teaman, you only need one entry in fstab. So if the partition number for the new home hasn’t changed, then use only one line, not two.

13. Austoon Daily » Move /home to it’s own partition - March 8, 2006

[...] Having the “/home? directory tree on it’s own partition has several advantages, the biggest perhaps being that you can reinstall the OS (or even a different distro of Linux) without losing all your data. You can do this by keeping the /home partition unchanged and reinstalling the OS which goes in the “/? (root) directory, which can be on a seperate partition. [...]

14. ubunto_nokaoi - March 19, 2006

Perhaps someone can help me….I installed Ubunto on a 40GB (in a mobile rack)but the jumper was set to ‘slave’ and it booted fine until my mobo went south. Replaced mobo and now can’t boot Ubunto. Got a bunch of X server errors the last of which states: “The X server is now disabled. Restart GDM when it is configured correctly.” It then asks me to login but won’t accept my password (I’m the only user). I’d reinstall with the HD set as ‘master’ but hate to lose all my settings; mail, pics, etc. I also have Mepis 3.4.3 in another rack and it had no problems booting as did WinXP Pro also in another rack except had to do a repair/reinstall but booted up fine. So my question is: how do I go about installing Ubunto w/o losing my precious settings? I’m still pretty new at this but getting better all the time. TIA

15. Thijs - March 20, 2006

It worked fine for me, followed the tutorial exactly. Thanks.

16. .. - March 20, 2006

[...] I set up my home folder so it’s on a seperate partition. This saved me a little stress when I attempted to upgrade Ubuntu to the Dapper beta to try out XGL accoring to some HOW-TO. I lost my internet connection, and I decided I’d rather this one to be stable and usable so I reinstalled Breezy. My preferences and files were back again. [...]

17. groggyboy - March 28, 2006

so, if i have /home on its own partition, does this mean i could more than one flavour of linux on my computer, all sharing the same /home?

18. ubuntonista - March 28, 2006

Groggyboy,
Yes you could do that.

19. PhilOSparta - April 22, 2006

I found that after the step:
$mv /home /oldhome
There was no longer a “home” directory
I had to:
$sudo mkdir /home

20. aysiu - May 30, 2006

I created another tutorial based on this one (which actually links to this one as being for intermediate to advanced users). My tutorial includes screenshots on the resizing process and doesn’t contain any typos (I hope).

I also ran into the /home directory (mount point) not existing when I followed these instructions, so I tried to correct that in my tutorial:

http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/separatehome.html

21. precinto - June 6, 2006

I’ve been trying to copy the home to the newhome, but, although I’m using sudo, it won’t give me permission. This is the error it constantly outputs:

cpio: cannot make directory `/mnt/newhome//./soyuz’: Permission denied
cpio: /mnt/newhome//./soyuz/.gnome/apps/Aplicaciones/Sonido/.directory: No such f ile or directory

[I also tried leaving the last slash (newhome/) out]
I cannot write on the new partition, nor even create a file, but writing is enabled.
This is the mount line of the new partition:

/dev/hda4 on /mnt/newhome type ext3 (rw)

I have a 80GiB hard disk.
hda2 is fat32, windows
hda3 is an extended partirtion which includes:
hda5 fat32, shared data with windows
hda6 ext3, /
hda7 swap

hda4 was created from hda2, so it is a primary partition, as Gparted won’t let me choose anything else.

Some ideas?

Thanks

22. precinto - June 6, 2006

Just solved it…
I had to mount the new partition like this:

sudo mount -t ext3 /dev/hda4 /mnt/newhome

23. ubuntonista - June 6, 2006

Thanks precinto, I added that to the command in the hope that it will help someone. I also fixed a typo, and added the instruction to create a new /home after moving the old to /old_home.

Thanks everyone :)

24. Bloggitation » links for 2006-06-09 - June 9, 2006

[...] Move /home to it’s own partition (tags: linux ubuntu sysadmin) [...]

25. JasonBryner.com » My Ubuntu HowTo - June 13, 2006

[...] Mount /home on new drive [...]

26. feuerbach - June 24, 2006

i had to add “sudo” after the pipeline to try to get the copying to work right, and then it looked like it did. but something else must not be working right, because when i try to mount my vfat (gparted says it’s fat32) partition as home (the one i copied the files over using your method) everything stops working, i can’t open a text editor to complete the last step.

so is this supposed to work with a vfat partition? i wanted my shared data partition to also be my home partition. is this possible?

27. feuerbach - June 24, 2006

let me just be clear: i’m a total noob, so u dont have to insult me. that being said, i believe my problem was that my fat32 was not being mounted properly. after mounting it like ths (mine is sdb3)

$sudo mount /dev/sdb3 /media/windows -t vfat -o umask=000

or the equivalent in my /etc/fstab
backup 1st:
$sudo cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab_backup
edit:
$sudo gedit /etc/fstab
i put (remember mine is sdb3 fat32 not yours)
/dev/sdb3 /media/windows vfat umask=000 0 0

it seems like it copied over (using your instructions, with sudo added (remember i have it mounted as /media/windows right now):

$cd /media/windows
$sudo find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

anyways i think this will work but i’m downloading knoppix iso to the fat32 disc right now so i’ll have to wait before testing the rest (umounting it and then mounting it as /home, after renaming my home, like u said). if that works i’ll set that up in my fstab.

sorry for the trouble.

28. feuerbach - June 24, 2006

well, scratch that. it seems like it just isn’t all being copied over. is there some way to really copy everything? or is there some reason ubuntu would not use a fat32 partition for a /home partition very well?

29. ubuntonista - June 24, 2006

feuerbach, using FAT32 for /home is not good if for nothing else, then for one important reason – FAT does not suport hardlinks, and many other things, including journalling that would pose solid problems later. If it is essential for you to be share files with windows, create a seperate fat32 partition and use that as the go-between. I realised that fat32 is not good enough first when I tried to rsync-backup some files to a fat32 partition, which is when I came across the issue with links not being possible.

30. j1m - July 9, 2006

an easy-to-use application for comparing the old and new home partitions is “unison.” just search for it in synaptic. :-)

31. Mystery - July 15, 2006

Hmm interesting to see that this acctually worked for most everyone. I’m a complete linux n00b so I had spent 6 hours searching on how to do this and it took that whole time to find that this one was simple and what I needed.
My system was a fresh (default) install of xubuntu (dapper). everything was installed on the main hdd. I had already had a 2nd hdd installed and wanted to put /home on another partition to protect myself from data loss while learning linux. Before finding this tutorial I already formated the 1st partition of the 2nd drive in ext3.
Unfortunatly the 2nd step of this tutorial failed for me. I had copied and pasted the contents into terminal 1 line at a time (leaving out the “$” of course). when I put in find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd i got an error too many arguments. Then I noticed that the 2nd line and the 3rd line of that code went together, so I tried it again and terminal spit out a bunch of lines consisting of canont do this and canot do that. The only thing it did do was it put a copy of “lost+found” in /mnt/newhome, and using file manager showed the little x on the icon for it which I think means its broken.
so anyway someone in the linux yahoo chat ended up walking me through getting this task done but unfortunatly I’ve learnt nothing. I’ve been trying to compare the commands he gave me with these commands and I just can’t figure it out.
I was hoping someone could tell me why the 2nd step of this tutorial had failed for me and how a complete n00b can find out just what all these command acctually mean. I’m really trying hard to learn how to use linux with the limited time I have on my hands. Moving /home was important to me because when I try to do something I end up doing so much damage that I end up constantly having to reinstall the OS itself and I just dont have time to learn if I’m reinstalling and then reconfiguring 10 times a day. I’ve read that there are other directories that I should move to different partitions so my configs in different programs can be kept through a reinstall of the OS. so I really need someone to help me here in learning how this is done, So I can do it myself and learn, instead of just typing in what a person is telling me and not knowing just what it is that I’m doing.

32. RichardPreston - July 15, 2006

Really nice tutorial: very easy to follow and works perfectly. Many thanks.

Because it stimulated my curiosity, and because it seemed like a useful thing to know more about, I wrote this short explanation of the command line used to copy the /home directory to the new partition. I am rather new to linux, so there may be errors; if you find them, I’d love to know.

find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

A word of explanation about the above line. ‘find’ is one of the most useful commands in linux; if you don’t know about it, get familiar with it soon. One of its most useful features is, as above, that it can execute programs based on the files it finds. So here ‘find’:
* walks through the current directory (denoted by ‘.’)
* uses the -depth option to check file permissions. [From the 'find' manpage: -depth can be useful when find is used with cpio(1) to process files that are contained in directories with unusual permissions. It ensures that you have write permission while you are placing files in a directory, then sets the directory's permissions as the last thing.]
* -print0 prints the pathname of the found file to standard output, with an ASCII null character at the end (which is used to terminate segments of text, and is important for the next stage)
* the | character redirects the output of ‘find’ to the ‘cpio’ command. ‘cpio’ is used to create archives, but here is used in pass-through mode (specified by the use of the -p option) to copy files to a new location, bypassing the creation of an intermediate archive.
* –null enables ‘cpio’ to read a list of filenames separated by an ASCII null character option (which is here generated by ‘find’s -print0 option)
* –sparse is used to write files with large blocks of zeros as sparse files. A sparse file is a file that may contain considerably less actual data than its size might suggest: i.e. a file with a single byte of data written at its millionth byte will be a 1MB sparse file, full of zeroes except for the last byte. Archive commands such as ‘cpio’ will usually, for efficiency, ignore the zeroes. Since we are aiming to copy exactly, –sparse here forces their recognition.
* -pvd specifies three individual options for ‘cpio’: p (to make cpio run in pass-through mode); v (verbose: list the files processed); and d (to create leading directories where needed)
* /mnt/newhome/ is simply (in this case) the starting directory to which the files will be copied.

Havary Camara - June 17, 2013

RichardPreston,

Just greate explanation of the command, thank you very much.

I made a test comparison betwen ‘cp -a’ and ‘the find’ for my /var directory.

the find result:
1 file was created but not copied. /var/lib/apt/lists/br.archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu-dists_precise-updates_restricted_i18n_Translation-pt

the ls output show that the file in new location was 0 bytes, but the original has 11k.

using cp -a or cp -dpR, witch is the same thing, i had the same file size in the new location.

just 1 file. i dont know why, and this file is not important at all. but makes me think. The ‘cp -a’ is a best tool for this kind of copy?

thank you all!

33. hamamelis - July 25, 2006

Great it all worked a treat, I used the method described at
http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/separatehome.html, but it was educational to compare them.

I would like to have several directories on my hda5, say /tophome, /archive and the like. What do I put in fstab to tell it that system /home is actually “/media/NewHomePart/tophome” or “/dev/hda5/tophome”, if you like. See current fstab lines below.
Just to be clear the /tophome directory would have the home directories for me, myfriend, thedog as well within it.
/tophome [will contain directories:]
/tophome/me /tophome/myfriend /tophome/mydog

/dev/hda5 /media/NewHomePart ext3 nodev,nosuid 0 2
/dev/hda5 /home ext3 nodev,nosuid 0 2

Just started using Ubuntu, it is a treat compared to WinXP. I run that under Win4LinPro to use Dreamweaver, etc. Thanks for all your help.

34. capiCrimm - August 3, 2006

@ubuntonista on #7

du is not a reliable check. I was moving my 30GB

capi:/$ du -sh /home
25G /home
capi:/$ du -sh /home~
29G /home~

Yet, upon futher inspection there was no corruption. A lot of the size changes seemed to be in binary files. For example on one picture there was a size change of 4 bytes, yet both pictures showed the exact same image(there were other files with bigger differences but they tended to be compiled projects).

I know there are some problems with linux storage in that if you edit a file it will take up as much previous space as before(or something like that). My guess is that in moving the files you allow for compression through reorganization. There may be some optimization by cpio, but I really didn’t see any binary change between files(there may be some, but the files I diffed didn’t come up with anything)

35. Jerold Waltherus - August 10, 2006

Nice write-up and follow-through. I used the procedure with one modification to the archiving step. Note that the cpio command given updates the file modification timestamp. So all your /home files now appear to have been modified at roughly the same time. This can foul things that depend on those timestamps (like developer tools). With GNU cpio, you can use the –preserve-modification-time flag for this, like so:

find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse –preserve-modification-time -pvd /mnt/newhome

Also, this procedure works for most PCs OK, but on a multi-user or server system you should go into single-user mode to do this kind of stuff.

36. Jerold Waltherus - August 10, 2006

Forgot the code tags in the last post, the command should be:


find . -depth -print0 | cpio -–null -–sparse –-preserve-modification-time -pvd /mnt/newhome

37. Sudhansu - August 16, 2006

worked like a charm.. i had a separate partition which i needed to convert to /home and had to modify them a bit.

Thanks for giving the detailed steps

38. toxic-hero - August 16, 2006

TO MYSTERY – you have to run console as root: $gksudo konsole
i’m also a newbie and had the same problem. sudo also didn’t help me. so i did this and everything went on smoothly.

39. alan maxwell - October 11, 2006

i followed psychocat’s tutorial but when i rebooted i lost all my custom settings…desktop wallpaper, themes and bookmarks in mozilla, etc. my /home_backup is almost 1 gig but my new /home is less than 100 meg. /home_backup is on hda1 and /home is on hda4. does anyone know how i can get my old /home back on the new partition? thanks.

40. daren reavis - October 12, 2006

So, if you have /home on a separate partition, then you will use the same dotfiles (the hidden files/folders in the user folder that start with ‘.’) even if you install a new linux distro. Wouldn’t there be some incompatibilities between distros? Which ones would be safe to use on any linux? Are Firefox and Thunderbird ok?

41. Og så alligevel… » Blog Archive » Installing Ubuntu 6.10 - October 26, 2006

[...] One of the main reason for starting afresh was to separate my personal files onto another partition so that I easily could reinstall the system another time without risking all of my settings which I find to be such a sane idea that it might be considered for the default. [...]

42. » Re: how do i move /home to a partition? - ubuntu.sitebolt.net - November 3, 2006

[...] Here’s a tutorial online that looks good: http://ubuntu.wordpress.com/2006/01/29/move-home-to-its-own-partition/ [...]

43. John - December 3, 2006

I used the psychocats tutorial and made a mess. My home files copied to the new directory okay, but when I booted it wouldn’t find home on the new partition. I got into fstab and it was okay (as copied it from the tutorial but with my partition details. I desperation I re-installed the distro (it is a new computer so nothing much to lose). The reininstalled distro now sees the partition and puts it on the desktop along with my XP one.

My question: How do I get my Edgy to recognize my home partition as ‘home’ (if you know what I mean)?

Regards
John

44. dick in NYC - December 4, 2006

I did this and it all worked a treat. No problems at all.

Now I would like to know what affect this has on re-installing Ubuntu. I know that I want to keep the home areas and just install Ubuntu. I also want to install Ubuntu in a different area of the disk. Right now Ubuntu is located in my logical area and I want to put it in the primary area. To do that I have to clear out a couple of files now in primary that I am not using and then install over them.

My guess is that what I would need to do is use a Live CD version of GPARTED and delete and then initialize the files I want to overlay first and then install Ubuntu in this initialized file. My question then is how to link my home file to this new Ubuntu file.

fstab of current setup is:

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
#
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
# /dev/sda10 — converted during upgrade to edgy
UUID=936a68ea-70b3-4084-89f1-a258994c0da0 / ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro 0 1
# /dev/sda13 — converted during upgrade to edgy
UUID=f7a4da97-bc8e-44aa-ad7e-2c52f6f48d8b none swap sw 0 0
/dev/hdc /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto 0 0
/dev/fd0 /media/floppy0 auto rw,user,noauto 0 0
/dev/sda11 /home ext3 nodev,nosuid 0 2

I already have Windows XP on the disk. What I want to do is eliminate sda3 and put Ubuntu there and then eliminate sda4 and copy /home there. Once I have done that I can then get rid of all the rest of the stuff on the disk except for a swap file, I think. Am I right or am I totally out of it. Any help would be sincerely appreciated. I want to get this cleaned up and fixed so that I can try some other distros I have floating around as well. I want them high enough in the logical region that I can delete them once I have tried them out if I want.

Thanks.

45. Bob - December 17, 2006

@dick in NYC:

copy ur home to sda4 first. double check it.

when installing ubuntu u can use gparted to delete sda3 and make that root /

during the installer u can also set /dev/sda4 to /home instead of /media/sda4 or whatever, this will fill in ur fstab for u and set ur new home directory.

46. fw - January 3, 2007

hello,
I have a problem like that with cpio,
output from dapper,
>find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /media/hdb3
>cpio: You must specify one of -oipt options.
>Try `cpio –help’ or `cpio –usage’ for more information.

what happened here, after try cpio–help, I am also not know how to use -oipt options :)

47. Paulo Leandro - January 4, 2007

Hi.
How about moving your home directory to an USB HDD? As I work with a company owned laptop and the machine has to stay at the office, I don’t want to have my files sitting on the laptop’s HDD.
I tried this – copying my ~home to the USB HDD and making a soft link to the USB ~home, and this didn’t work: when I logged in, the systems complained about the missing home directory!
Any help?
Thanks

48. Peter Whittaker - January 5, 2007

I did something similar recently, see my “super simple md recipe” on https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Raid. The most important thing you’ll see there is that cp and cpio and find were unnecessary for me: ext2 and ext3 (apparently) support the mv operation across partitions.

So, after setting up /dev/hdXX appropriately, my recipe for moving home would be:

$ cd /
$ su
# mv /home /home2
# mkdir /home
# cat >> /etc/fstab
/dev/hdXX /home ext3 defaults 0 0
^D
# mount -a
# mv /home2/* /home
# rmdir /home2
# exit
$ cd

Worked for me, everything appears solid.

49. Joe Blubaugh - January 9, 2007

Please add a warning about the vfat file system, as it doesn’t allow for change of owners or permissions and user’s applications will totally bug out on them.

50. Susimetsa - January 28, 2007

I had the same problem as you, fw

>find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /media/hdb3
>cpio: You must specify one of -oipt options.
>Try `cpio –help’ or `cpio –usage’ for more information.

Basically, the above line is incorrect in the fact that the long lines before “null” and “sparse” actually have to be double lines, like this:

find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /media/hdb3

51. Susimetsa - January 28, 2007

Ok, this system seems to interpret double lines as long lines and you cannot see them in the above example…

In any case, there should be two consecutive “-”‘s before those two terms.

52. Cliowa - February 13, 2007

Thanks for this great tutorial. After following all the instructions everything seems to work just fine, except for one thing: After logging in I always get this “Run as root – KDE su” request (which opens in a new window) with a message like this:

nautilus ‘–sm-config-prefix’ ‘/nautilus-gJbymW (it cuts off this line then)
‘–sm-client-id’ ’101ca16910a13e000117130 (it cuts off here again)
‘–screen’ ’0′ ‘–load-session’ ‘/root/.nautilus/s (it cuts off)

This didn’t happen before. I’m using Kubuntu (and Ubuntu) 6.10, with all the latest updates installed.

Any ideas would be appreciated.
Best regards…Cliowa

53. hoff316 - February 26, 2007

find . -depth -print0 | cpio -–null -–sparse –-preserve-modification-time -pvd /mnt/newhome

the — is needed for the cpio command to work.

54. homeless - March 18, 2007

followed your ‘how to’ and something went seriosly wrong…i lost my homefolder and terminal and firefox and everything and had to do a complete reinstall from fresh, cheers!!!

55. aymadre - March 19, 2007

On Edgy i lost most desktop configuration files, firefox addons, and the like. *And* partitions fail to mount automatically at boot so I have to do run fstab manually. New install, there I go…

56. Natasha - March 26, 2007

followed this tutorial (i tried another one before that seriously messed me up for a full nerve-wrecking day), and everything went smoothly. This guide is correct, simple, and to the point. No unnecessary moves here, and it doesn’t create tons of baggage (i.e. multiple unnecessary copies of your home that only eat up the memory you need to make this work).
Thank you.

57. Jack Jebedee - March 28, 2007

I plan on doing a clean install when Ubuntu’s Feisty Fawn 7.04 is distributed. I’d like to use gparted to assign /dev/hdb to /home. That is, I want the entire drive to be my /home directory. Will that get the job done or must I partition a part of hda to use as the /home directory?

Thanks for the terrific advice!

… JJ

58. Jack Jebedee - March 28, 2007

Note: I meant that I’d use gparted to MOUNT hdb at /home. Is that the same thing? Will Ubuntu treat that as my /home directory?

… JJ

59. P Morton - April 1, 2007

“I’ve been trying to copy the home to the newhome, but, although I’m using sudo, it won’t give me permission. This is the error it constantly outputs:

cpio: cannot make directory `/mnt/newhome//./soyuz’: Permission denied
cpio: /mnt/newhome//./soyuz/.gnome/apps/Aplicaciones/Sonido/.directory: No such f ile or directory” – precinto – June 6, 2006

I have self same problem

$ sudo mkdir /mnt/newhome
$ sudo mount /dev/md0 /mnt/newhome
$ cd /home
$ sudo find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse –preserve-modification-time -pvd /mnt/newhome/

and the Permission Denied message appears. Can’t undestand it as I’m executing cpio with Sudo.

60. Safder - April 3, 2007

Hi,

Great article, by the way. Thanks , I was looking for something like this, however I do have a small problem.
The partition that I used to act as “/home” is a NTFS partition, and this partition is also used by my windows xp on the same system.

So when i log into ubuntu, after I enter my password, I get the following message:

“User’s $HOME/.dmrc” file is being ignored. This prevents the default session and language from being saved. File should be owned by user and have 644 permission. User $HOME directory must be owned by user and not writable by other users”

I know this might be something to do with windows being able to write to it. I might be completely wrong on this.

So, I think this means that “other” users could modify the files?
I am really not sure, what this means.

I just installed ubuntu for the first time this weekend, so I am definitely a newbie, so please, help would be appreciated.
Also please suggest me, whether what I did is dangerous, or any other comments would be appreciated

61. nayif - April 3, 2007

thanks it work with me,

and about the error of permission it appear, to me but with the test user i add to ubuntu ,and not with the one created by default “mine”,hope this give other a hint. because i dont care about this user “test” am just ignore it..

62. P Morton - April 6, 2007

I’m afraid I couldn’t get this to work at all. First I had to chown /newhome to user:user rather than root:root. That sorted the problem I report above, which seems to be a Bash issue. But then the cpio command threw up errors. A study of the man syntax lead me to:

cpio -p0dv –preserve-modification-time –sparse /mnt/newhome

(the second flag is a zero by the way) which did the trick. But problems didn’t finish there. When running X, /home is well and truly nailed down by umpteen processes, so you can’t copy it to /oldhome or overwrite it. This needs to be done in single user mode to get round this.

Daniel Robbins at IBM has a very easy step-by-step called “Partitioning in Action: Moving /home” at http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-partplan.html.
He uses the simpler cp -ax command to copy the file structure of /home to /newhome (or newpart as he names it). It all works a treat.

63. off on another tangent… : Blog Archive » fiesty on its way! - April 11, 2007

[...] from the wonderful ShipIt, which send them out for free….gotta love it. I also have my home directory on a separate partition for easy installation (yes!!!! no need to worry about redoing everything). Can’t wait to [...]

64. palypup - April 16, 2007

I also had problems w/ cpio command and couldn’t figure it out, so went to aysiu’s psychocats page and tried that method. It worked fine but’cept now I have two home directories and anything saved is duplicated.

65. Karel Brits - weblog » Nog één nachtje slapen … - April 18, 2007

[...] nog wel wat puzzelwerk en opzoekingswerk hebben om dit in orde te krijgen. Ik volg momenteel deze tutorial, maar die blijkt voor mij niet voldoende te werken. Ik zoek nog een beetje verder zodat ik weet [...]

66. Justin Moy - April 18, 2007

find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

should be run like this

sudo find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

it worked for me

67. Karel Brits - April 18, 2007

I’ve got the same error as P Morton. The link to that IBM-page he gave for an alternative method doesn’t seem to work anymore.

68. BTom - April 21, 2007

I’ve managed to copy the datas with this line:
$find . -depth -print0 | cpio –-null –-sparse -pvd

69. BTom - April 21, 2007

Whoops, sorry, i’ve made a mistake: sudo the cpio:
$find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio -–null -–sparse -pvd

70. Linux Attempts » Blog Archive » Upgrading Plans - April 27, 2007

[...] /home directory to a newly created /home partition as recommended by Pelo in #ubuntu. I found a guide to moving /home on the Ubuntu Blog. I’ll then be able to just reinstall an OS and point it to /home during [...]

71. Jamie - April 28, 2007

I’ve had problems with the find … | cpio combination, so I got bored and tried the other suggestion on the Debian Archive Guide. This works for me:

cp -ax -sparse=auto . /mnt/newhome

72. George - May 12, 2007

Any idea if this tutorial will work if I try to move /root?

73. Ubuntu Learner » Move /home to its own partition - May 30, 2007

[...] Move /home to its own partition [...]

74. Geek Drivel » Blog Archive » Encrypted File Systems, Part 3 - June 17, 2007

[...] my home directory to it. For those of you following along at home, the command I used is from this page: $cd /home/ $find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd [...]

75. anon - June 19, 2007

I need help. This -> “find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/” doesn’t work. It says “you must specify one of the -oipt options”. I thought the options were specified correctly!!! Help!

76. Gary Bishop » Blog Archive » Moving /home to its own partition - June 21, 2007

[...] I wanted to make /home its own partition to ease backups, synchronization, and future upgrades. This is how I did it. I’m no expert so beware of taking these as instructions. I got most of this from this post. [...]

77. Jeffrey Gordon - June 23, 2007

Awesome, this totally worked. Remember when you copy the cpio command to replace the long dashes with double dashes in the terminal.

78. Chuck Notorious - July 6, 2007

worked for me. yay! had to sudo the cpio though.

79. Neil Forsyth - August 12, 2007

This process worked for me, thanks for the info!

One thing that caught me was the command:

find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

Several issues:
First, when I copied and pasted from Firefox into a gnome-terminal, the double-dashes before “null” and “sparse” became single long-dashes. It complained that “You must specify one of -oipt options.” and it took me a while to realise what the problem was.

Secondly, as mentioned by a previous person in this thread, I had to use sudo on it. Not just sudo at the front, but in front of the cpio command too.

So what I ended up with was:

sudo find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

80. Neil Forsyth - August 12, 2007

It seems it’s WordPress doing it, because what I typed in that previous message was two dashes, but looking at the html, it’s merged into one dash.

81. JY - August 19, 2007

My (kubuntu) fstab is more complicated:

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
#
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
# /dev/sda5
UUID=7ff92d34-e70f-dd99-8da9-4c8c3a04acf1 / ext3 nouser,defaults,errors=remount-ro,atime,auto,rw,dev,exec,suid 0 1
# /dev/sda6
UUID=E9DD-41EE /fatshare vfat defaults,utf8,umask=007,uid=0,gid=46,auto,rw,nouser 0 1
# /dev/sda3
LABEL=Data /winxp/d ntfs defaults,nls=utf8,umask=007,uid=0,gid=46,auto,rw,nouser 0 1
# /dev/sda2
/dev/sda2 /winxp/c ntfs defaults,nls=utf8,umask=007,uid=0,gid=46,auto,rw,nouser 0 1
# /dev/sda7
UUID=1df708f2-5285-4741-841a-e23a091ea2a3 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/cdrom /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,atime,noauto,rw,dev,exec,suid 0 0

How do I modify it accordingly? Can I simple do what you said:
/dev/newhda5 /home ext3 nodev,nosuid 0 2
Will it work?

82. O’DonnellWeb - This is not a homeschooling blog » Blog Archive » Data protection - advantage Linux - August 23, 2007

[...] impossible in Windows due to all the pointers in the registry. It took me 5 minutes following these directions. Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and [...]

83. Roy - August 28, 2007

Thank you for this wonderful tutorial!

I’ve used this on Debian to mount a NTFS-3G drive to /home. It works like a charm with Windows XP, had no problem whatsoever yet.

Just one thing I had to change to make it work on Debian was changing the line:

find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

to

find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

so using double dashes, dunno why this is different, but it works for me :)

Thanks again for this wonderful tut!

84. Jarno Suni - September 10, 2007

First, I had to use command
sudo mkdir /mnt/newhome
to create the /mnt/newhome. I suppose you can delete it later (after unmounting it):
sudo rmdir /mnt/newhome

Roy, many GNU/Linux command options that have more than one character should be prefixed by two hyphens (to distinguish them from concatenated single character options). I suppose this blog replaces two hyphen by a (long) dash. Let me test; I type two hyphen here: –

One more thing. In Xubuntu Feisty device names begin with s, so instead of hda5 you would use sda5.

85. links for 2007-09-12 at graemehunter.co.uk - September 12, 2007

[...] Move /home to it’s own partition « Ubuntu Blog (tags: ubuntu linux partition howto /home tutorial home) [...]

86. mario - September 16, 2007

great guide, thanks!
There’s only one thing to say, the code line:

find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

doesn’t work! i used instead:

find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

that worked for me.
Bye!

87. mario - September 16, 2007

…ok, sorry but that is wordpress fault.
there should be two “-” before the options “null” and “sparse”
instead of just one.
bye

88. Web Hosting - I asked this imagemagick question here a few hours ago and am still seeking input from the community Im interested in purchasing - September 27, 2007
89. Jeremy Visser » Feelin’ Gutsy - September 27, 2007

[...] login process was slightly problematic, because just before I’d reinstalled, I’d moved my /home directory to a new partition, and the GTK+ themes weren’t showing up properly. So, I just went and deleted some [...]

90. Angel - September 30, 2007

I was following this blog and I got stuck at

sudo mv /home /old_home

I get the following error message “mv: cannot move `/home’ to `/old_home’: Device or resource busy”

So far this is what I have done (hdb1 is the partition I want to use for my directory, this partition is on a different hard disk)

$ sudo mkdir /mnt/newhome
$ sudo mount -t ext3 /dev/hdb1 /mnt/newhome
$ cd /home/
$ sudo cp -a /home/* /mnt/newhome

I used cp since find didn’t work
I got this message when I tried to use find
$ find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/cpio: You must specify one of -oipt options.
Try `cpio –help’ or `cpio –usage’ for more information.

The next commands are…

$ sudo umount /mnt/newhome
$ sudo mv /home /old_home
mv: cannot move `/home’ to `/old_home’: Device or resource busy

There you have it. Don’t know what to do know. I dont know if I have messed it up. Help

91. svdb - September 30, 2007

I did get the same message from cpio because when I copy pasted the command it copied -null and -sparse instead of –null and –sparse
(that is two times the – character like specified by the cpio help command)

92. Angel - September 30, 2007

thanks svdb

however i’m still stuck with the mv command

$ sudo mv /home /old_home
mv: cannot move `/home’ to `/old_home’: Device or resource busy

93. svdb - September 30, 2007

exit /home by typing
cd /
then retry the mv command.
Other than that, perhaps there’s a problem with the cp command you used? (I’m a linux newbie…)

94. Web Hosting - I burned the php 5 Ubuntu Linux ISO onto a CD then after it said complete i took out the CD and put it back in then - October 3, 2007

[...] Yeah, but you don’t want to do a straight copy, you’ve gotta get a little fancy: http://ubuntu.wordpress.com/2006/01/29/move-home-to-its-own-partition/ [...]

95. Angel - October 5, 2007

Ok, I went back and now I can do the “find” command I was unable to do. However, when I reach

$ sudo mv /home /old_home

I still get the error
mv: cannot move `/home’ to `/old_home’: Device or resource busy

I did cd / as suggested above, but still have the same problem.

96. me - October 7, 2007

Wouldn’t this work in other distros? – not just ubuntu?

97. Dingy - October 11, 2007

This is a pretty good guide but got me into a bit scary moment. When I finished everything said in the guide and reboot the system, I could not start my KDE. I had to scramble to look for a solution for “Could not kstartupconfig. Check your installation”. I finally figured it out by doing,

sudo usermod -d /home/username username
sudo chown -R username:users /home/username

now the job is done. thanks for the tip!

98. Josh - October 21, 2007

Thanks for the walkthrough. I just followed it on Ubuntu 7.10 and it worked like a charm. Thanks!

99. is - October 23, 2007

hello, i did as you said, but i get an error when i logged in. it is related to a file ‘$HOME/.dmcr’ and mode access and i couldn’t start a session. Could it be that i’m trying to use a vfat partition in /home?

100. christof - November 11, 2007

heya
I’m new to ubuntu, and very glad for this tutorial. I think ubuntu should allow the user to move the location of the home directory as easy as it is in windows. There you can move the home-directory for the data as simply as by right-clicking the folder and assigning it a new location-address.
cheers

101. Move /home to it’s own partition « Microwave Biscuit - November 12, 2007

[...] Move /home to it’s own partition « Ubuntu Blog [...]

102. Rob Yurkowski - November 14, 2007

This is a bit easier if you do the following, first:

$ sudo -i

Password: ***********

… then execute the commands. You won’t have the issues with copying or mounting that others have had.

At the end, verify that your users’ home directories are, in fact, owned by them:

$ ls -l /home

You should get output like this:

drwxr-xr-x 57 rob root 4096 2007-11-14 00:01 rob

Make sure that first name after the number matches the one on the end. If it doesn’t, you can do the following (if you’re still in ‘sudo -i’, you don’t need the sudo here)

$ sudo chown -R /home/

For me, this solved most of the problems I had doing this.

103. slapjack » links for 2007-11-17 - November 17, 2007

[...] Move /home to it’s own partition « Ubuntu Blog (tags: ubuntu linux partition /home) [...]

104. Marcus - November 20, 2007

Chuck- I tried following your instructions to move the /home directory to a second HD I have installed but something happened & I can no longer boot into Ubuntu 7.10. It looks like I’ve created the new home but I was not able to edit the fstab file. The 2nd HD is ntfs. How can I fix this? Can I boot into Ubuntu 7.04 using the CD then edit that file? Or will I need to reload Ubuntu? I want to have the /home directory on my second HD which is where all my data resides. Please help as I am hating Windows with each day & am excited to migrate over to Ubuntu Linux!

105. Marcus - November 20, 2007

Chuck-

I’ve used the CD to boot into the system & can see the fstab file but it is read only. How can I write to this using a live CD to make the necessary change.

106. move /home to it’s own partition « Azitech - December 18, 2007

[...] 18, 2007 A nice step-by-step guide on how to move your /home directory to a separate partition (there are several reasons why you might want to do [...]

107. Too good to be true » Blog Archive » make /home has its own partition - December 22, 2007

[...] details [...]

108. links for 2008-01-02 » oneafrikan.com - January 2, 2008

[...] Move /home to it’s own partition « Ubuntu Blog (tags: linux ubuntu partition howto tutorial) [...]

109. Charlie Armor - January 10, 2008

Permissions error

If you’re using ‘sudo’ remember to put a second sudo after the pipe to run cpio command

sudo find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

110. Ubuntu 7.10(Gutsy Gibbon) 64-bit or 32-bit ? « freedom is an illusion - January 14, 2008

[...] Tip: If you are planning on reinstalling Ubuntu multiple times, keep your home partition on a separate partition. [...]

111. Alexander Gieg - January 26, 2008

Thanks for the tips. It worked nice here.

112. Matthäus Brandl - January 28, 2008

Just wanted to add that I had to use
$find . -depth -print0 | cpio – –sparse -pvd0 /mnt/newhome/
and executing it as root (ie adding a sudo in front of both commands or executing sudo -i before doing the copy) to make it work

113. ubuntu 7.04 - January 30, 2008

Hey i have some questions i made it but my root partition is only 4gb.Is this good;cause i have only 1gb left for (/) root.Will i face any problems in the future ??? I have to make a biiger root partition ??

114. Michael - February 4, 2008

I didn’t find a responde to alan maxwell’s problem After
following the psychocats’ tutorial everything is fine except
many (not all, e.g. printer) settings are gone and the new
home is alot smaller than the old home. The documents
and files are mostly there, but lots of dot files are empty,.

Any guidelines on how to fix that?

115. bert s - February 10, 2008

Hello,

I followed the tutorial, except I used an existing partition to copy the home folder to. Now all the data I had on that partition is lost. Apparently cpio copies over existing data. Is there a way to retrieve this data? It is very important for me, thank you in advance

116. knome - February 22, 2008

I managed to do it after two or three false starts. In the end I went to the psychocats version, which was very straight forward afte I remembered to put in my own hda numbers and a bit of a panic over inputting the final script.
Up and running, but should have made the partition bigger. Doh

http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/separatehome

117. harish - February 28, 2008

Hi,

My Desktop was a dual boot with XP and fedora 8. In Linux i had separate partitions for /home, /root and /boot. I have changed my LInux OS from fedora 8 to Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 4, during which i have formatted the /root and made it as new /root. I wanted to use the previous /home partition as my current /home. After installation i am trying to mount this partition, but this is giving me the error:

mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/hda7,
or too many mounted file systems

Note: /dev/hda7 was my /home during Fedora 8

Additional Info:

e2fsck 1.35 (28-Feb-2004)
/home: clean, 16269/2050272 files, 956656/2048279 blocks

tune2fs 1.35 (28-Feb-2004)
Filesystem volume name: /home
Last mounted on:
Filesystem UUID: cec60e6a-9e89-4701-9ee8-02582cca3035
Filesystem magic number: 0xEF53
Filesystem revision #: 1 (dynamic)
Filesystem features: has_journal ext_attr resize_inode dir_index filetype sparse_super large_file
Default mount options: (none)
Filesystem state: clean
Errors behavior: Continue
Filesystem OS type: Linux
Inode count: 2050272
Block count: 2048279
Reserved block count: 102413
Free blocks: 1091623
Free inodes: 2034003
First block: 0
Block size: 4096
Fragment size: 4096
Blocks per group: 32768
Fragments per group: 32768
Inodes per group: 32544
Inode blocks per group: 1017
Filesystem created: Mon Sep 4 19:43:43 2006
Last mount time: Thu Feb 28 14:31:11 2008
Last write time: Thu Feb 28 14:31:11 2008
Mount count: 226
Maximum mount count: -1
Last checked: Mon Sep 4 19:43:43 2006
Check interval: 0 ()
Reserved blocks uid: 0 (user root)
Reserved blocks gid: 0 (group root)
First inode: 11
Inode size: 128
Journal inode: 8
Default directory hash: tea
Directory Hash Seed: 22495fb1-0f00-4dd3-a6a3-ef344c9634af
Journal backup: inode blocks

Please help me get back my data on /home.

Thanks
Harish

118. Pablo Ortuzar - February 28, 2008

Hi,

thanks for the tutorial. I run Gutsy, which uses UUID in /etc/fstab:
1) will adding “/dev/hda5 /home ext3 nodev,nosuid 0 2″ to /fstab do the job, or should I use the UUID?
2)in case I use the UUID, where do I put the “home” bit?

Any help greatly appreciated

Pablo

119. sapoleon - March 12, 2008

hi,
i have the same question as pablo. i made everything, and it seems ok, just that when i make a restart, it says that the added line in fstab is not ok, and nothing works.
i can boot in the root mode, delete the fstab line, change the backup directory to home, and it runs again… so…
i’m running ubuntu 7.10

any sugestions?
thanks

120. sapoleon - March 12, 2008

ok, i found it, in ubuntu 7.10 we have to use uuid in the fstab

to get the volume uuid, you must write in the console:
(my particular case /dev/sda6 with ext3 format)

$ vol_id /dev/sda6

and the answer is something like:
UUID=b6400497-fc51-4c37-b802-1e97aa18f844

then, add in the fstab:

#/dev/sda6
UUID=b6400497-fc51-4c37-b802-1e97aa18f844 /home ext3 defaults 0 0

and thats all

121. fstabbed - March 25, 2008

Is there any reason this method can’t be used to move /usr, /var, /tmp, /opt to their own partitions?

122. Phil Cash - March 28, 2008

So far so good – almost…

Two other posters have noted this issue, but there is no reponse I can see.
Ubuntu 7.10.
The partition that I mounted as “/home” is a NTFS partition – a clue to the problem?

When I log in, immediatly after entering my password, the following message is displayed:

“User’s $HOME/.dmrc” file is being ignored. This prevents the default session and language from being saved. File should be owned by user and have 644 permission. User $HOME directory must be owned by user and not writable by other users”

Can anyone advise me how to resolve this please? In newbeespeak? I’d like to understand what is happening and what should be happening and why if you have the time to educate me.

Cheers,
Phil

123. mark - March 29, 2008

I’ve done it, by following your suggestions combined with the psychocat helpsite…

What i have now though, is that my old /home folder is un findable and is taking up lots of space on my original drive, everything is working fine, but i just want to free up some space.

here’s exactly what i did, can you help…

——————————————————————————————–
Adding a new HD, and making it read/writable.

(assumes you’ve already formatted it using something like Gparted).

Start with a newly formatted @ /dev/sdb.

Open a shell

$ sudo mkdir /media/everything_else

$ sudo mount -t ext3 /dev/sdb1 /media/everything_else

add to /etc/fstab

$ sudo gedit /etc/fstab

# Entry for /dev/sdb1 :
/dev/sdb1 /media/everything_else ext3 defaults 0 0

$ sudo chmod -R 777 /media/everything_else/

Now to move everything over and set /home to your new disk

cd /old/home
$ find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio –null –sparse -pvd /new/

sudo gedit /etc/fstab

# Entry for /home on /dev/sdb1 (everything_else)
/dev/sdb1 /home ext3 nodev,nosuid 0 2

save then reboot

124. mark - March 29, 2008

Sorry, line
cd /old/home
$ find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio –null –sparse -pvd /new/

should read

cd /old/home
$ find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio –null –sparse -pvd /media/everything_else/

125. mark - March 29, 2008

ok, i sussed it out.

i commented out the line in fstab as below, restarted, removed the original content, un commented the same line and restarted.

job’s a good ‘un :)

# /dev/sdb1 /home ext3 nodev,nosuid 0

126. Phil Cash - March 31, 2008

Subsequent to my post of 28 Mar:
I’ve learned from Ubuntu forums that since NTFS doesn’t have linux file ownership details, the owner eveything on an NTFS volume is set to the user who mounted the volume – in this case ‘boot’. This is not changable after the fact. You can probably change this by mounting an NTFS volume after booting, but as this excercise is about /home you can’t boot and log in as a user unless there is already a /home directory. The fix? Take the plunge and format the partition as Ext3 in the first place.
Cheers,
Phil

127. Tran Van Huan - April 10, 2008

Your article is very interesting!
But, i’ve some question!
Can i use a directory in a NTFS partition to make Home directory?
how can i do to copy beetween 2 directories without changing files’s owner?
misstake?: $ find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd new-dir
Thank you!

128. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Linux Users | Royal HeHe2-ness! - April 16, 2008

[...] If you weren’t lucky enough to know this before installing your system, then do not despair! Carthik from Ubuntu Blog takes you in a step-by-step guide titled “Move /home to it’s own partition“ [...]

129. Good Linux User Should be like This.!! | Cyber Space in One Hand - April 17, 2008

[...] If you weren’t lucky enough to know this before installing your system, then do not despair! Carthik from Ubuntu Blog takes you in a step-by-step guide titled “Move /home to it’s own partition“ [...]

130. David Russell - April 17, 2008

I honestly don’t know why Ubuntu doesn’t do this by default. Since Ubuntu is about being ‘friendly to non-experts’ why not do what is best automatically, with the option for advanced users to change if they want? It’s what Ubuntu does with restricted drivers and various other things after all.

131. Os sete hábitos do usuário Linux eficiente | Tecnologia da Informação - Desenvolvimento e Educação - April 18, 2008

[...] ainda é uma boa prátiva mantê-lo em separado. Se necessário, consulte o Ubuntu Blog para ver como mover o /home para uma partição exclusiva. Esta idéia também pode se aplicar a outras diretórios como /Músicas ou [...]

132. t3ch - April 18, 2008

in my case work everything except that line:
/dev/hda5 /home ext3 nodev,nosuid 0 2

so i change that and write startup.sh:
sudo echo “mount /dev/sda4 /home” > /etc/init.d/startup.sh | sudo update-rc.d startup.sh defaults

and now work great!

133. iGoogle - April 20, 2008

cd /home/yourname
become root:
sudo -i
then:
find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome

instead of:

$find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome

134. bharkins - April 21, 2008

I started the process at this line:

$find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

and immediately received “cpio: invalid option –e”

I checked the Debian archiving guide and found your same command line, but at this point I’m stalled. Any suggestions?

135. things to look at (april 14th - april 21st) | stimulant - changing things around. . . - April 21, 2008

[...] Move /home to it’s own partition « Ubuntu Blog [...]

136. MTCD - April 22, 2008

bharkins: I have found that doing this is Debian works but you need to change that command a little bit

Use: $find . -depth -print0 | cpio –-null –-sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

Note the — on null and sparse… always works for me :)

137. Nick Carroll » Blog Archive » Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron - April 24, 2008

[...] am currently in the process of migrating /home to its own partition so that I can go ahead and upgrade to Hardy Heron as soon as possible.     Read [...]

138. 7те навики на високо ефективните Linux корисници « What am I doing - May 6, 2008

[...] Доколку ја ставите вашата home папка во посебна партиција му давате флексибилност на системот да вршите реинсталација или инсталација на друга дистрибуција лесно и едноставно. Само ставете ја вашата /home папка на посебна партиција и играјте си/менувајте ги подесувањата со Вашиот “/” . Сега можете да ги испробувате дистрибуциите на GNU/Linux без да направите штета или да ги изгубите фајловите во вашиот /home фолдер. Инструкции. [...]

139. » Del.icio.us: Anbefalte lenker for uke 20 - 2008 - Leif Dalands blogg - IT & Produktivitet - May 17, 2008

[...] Move /home to it?s own partition � Ubuntu Blog – Ved å flytte Home-delen i Linux til en annen partisjon vil du få mer fleksible muligheter til å gjøre endringer i operativsystemet, reinstallere det, eller til og med teste ut forskjellige distroer. Home-delen vil hele tiden være uberørt. [...]

140. Os sete hábitos do usuário Linux eficiente « [tecno-logic] - May 19, 2008

[...] ainda é uma boa prática mantê-lo em separado. Se necessário, consulte o Ubuntu Blog para ver como mover o /home para uma partição exclusiva. Esta idéia também pode se aplicar a outras diretórios como /Músicas ou [...]

141. Use o Linux de forma eficiente ! « DW - May 20, 2008

[...] ainda é uma boa prática mantê-lo em separado. Se necessário, consulte o Ubuntu Blog para ver como mover o /home para uma partição exclusiva. Esta idéia também pode se aplicar a outras diretórios como /Músicas ou [...]

142. Professor Hugo » Os sete hábitos do usuário Linux eficiente - May 24, 2008

[...] ainda é uma boa prátiva mantê-lo em separado. Se necessário, consulte o Ubuntu Blog para ver como mover o /home para uma partição exclusiva. Esta idéia também pode se aplicar a outras diretórios como /Músicas ou [...]

143. alex - May 24, 2008

Oggi proverò a spiegarvi come tenere la cartella home su una partizione separata. Avere la cartella /home su una partizione separata ha diversi vantaggi. Ad esempio, si può installare una nuova versione di Linux ( addirittura una nuova distribuzione

144. helime - May 24, 2008

bharkins: I have found that doing this is Debian works but you need to change that command a little bit

Use: $find . -depth -print0 | cpio –-null –-sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

Note the — on null and sparse… always works for me

145. cemix - May 24, 2008

If you weren’t lucky enough to know this before installing your system, then do not despair! Carthik from Ubuntu Blog takes you in a step-by-step guide titled “Move /home to it’s own partition

146. Ian Park - June 16, 2008

Very helpful post. I adapted the recipe to move /var/ to a separate partition as well; I put Hardy on to my Eee, and was rather taken aback to find that the internal 4GB flash drive was 92% full. I booted from the live CD image on a memory stick to run gparted and split the 4GB MMC into a 2.6GB for /home and a 1.3GB for /var, then trundled through the recipe, and now I have over 1GB spare on the internal 4GB flash drive – ace!

147. Bernardo - July 2, 2008

If you want to preserve the file dates, you just need to include the option m in the cpio, like: -mpvd

148. Chess Set - July 9, 2008

just an fyi .. Don’t do this as root :) .. (ie su -)

If you do it that way you’ll need to change the owner of the files back to your username before you restart.

chown username:username -R /home/username

149. :: samkon.org » Bugün neler öğrendim? - August 2, 2008

[...] ayrı bir bölüme yüklemenin önemini daha iyi anladım. Fakat herşey bitmiş demek değil. Şurada ve şurada bahsedilene göre kök dizininin içerisinde yer alan /home dizinini ayrı bir bölüme [...]

150. codeslinger - August 4, 2008

if you don’t know a lot about how your system works and especially things like mount and fstab.

Then you really should not be attempting this.

There are a lot of cries for help up above from people who got in over their heads and screwed up their system.

The tip about using find with cpio is pretty cool! usually I use rsync which also gets the job done *and* fully verifies the result.

151. Australian Web Directory - August 14, 2008

Nice idea. Is there any speed penalty in having it on another partition?

152. Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Server Edition and LVM - Zimbra - Forums - August 21, 2008

[...] is the directory for all your user specific data and documents – the ‘my documents’ of windows. Move /home to its own partition Ubuntu Blog What’s really cool is that sometimes you can even share a /home on multiple OS’s though it may get [...]

153. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Linux Users « gnufreakz’s Weblog - August 23, 2008

[...] If you weren’t lucky enough to know this before installing your system, then do not despair! Carthik from Ubuntu Blog takes you in a step-by-step guide titled “Move /home to it’s own partition“ [...]

154. sunshine - August 29, 2008

Can anybody help me install this linux. I have window vista in drive C and another drive D for data and I got another drive E left formatted in NTFS.I want to install ubuntu to that drive.But what made me lost is when it’s up to partition.I simply choose that drive but it needs root or something which I have no idea at all.So can any one give me a go?please send me an email through: chanthyny_sok@yahoo.com. thanks

155. towy71 - September 1, 2008

chanthyny_sok
Hardy Heron come with wubi.exe which lets you install Ubuntu on the Windows partition and use ntldr to boot it.
Worry about partitioning when you have practiced and come to enjoy using Linux rather than Windows

156. Isaac - September 9, 2008

So does this mean that each distro install will automatically point to this new universal “home” folder/partition?

Or will it make its own “home” folder by default and you have to manually choose the universal “home” folder to make sure you save things universally?

I apologize if that sounds overly complicated.

Thanks!

157. Attila - September 9, 2008

Hello All,

In my Kubuntu Hardy Heron:
I added a new hdd.
Want to make this hdd my new home.
hdd1 is sda1 and hdd2 is sdb1.
I formatted new hdd ext3 with gparted. But the owner of the disk is root so i can not write to disk with user level.
Tried to copy files in my home to newhome with the command:
find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/
cpio: You must specify one of -oipt options.
Try `cpio –help’ or `cpio –usage’ for more information

This error returned.

Can anyone help me to to add this disk as my new home

Thanks

158. Setting Up Extra Drives in Ubuntu(Studio) « Gatecrasher Audio - September 15, 2008

[...] Move Home to its Own Partition – Ubuntu Blog [...]

159. Rattler - September 16, 2008

I am merely trying to get the local user to point to a home$ that resides on another Hardy acting as file server.

When I do that with /Hub//home/user, Hardy tells me the directory does not exist.

Thoughts? Still learning Linux as I slowly kill of my dependence on XP.

Ta

160. Marcelino - September 19, 2008

Why does everyone want to use the complex cpio command to copy /home? Seems that many people are having problems with it too… rsync is so much simplier and I believe will accomplish the same thing. That’s what I used.

to copy /home using rsync instead

rsync -Sav /home /mnt/newhome

161. david - September 22, 2008

rynsic usually works thanks for the tip.

162. Gerry - September 26, 2008

A few comments here. First, watch your owner/group permissions. If you need to sudo for any copying, make sure the new home dirs are properly owned/group.

The Gnome .gvfs mountpoint cannot be copied, but it’ll create a new one on boot.

And now firefox. If you had it open reading this when you copied your home then rebooted, it may not start, thinking it’s already running. Go into your new home, then
cd .mozilla/firefox
then down to its profile directory. Delete the “lock” link, and it works again.

163. Gerry - September 26, 2008

On 2nd thought, do NOT delete the firefox lock. Seemed to let it run, but breaks it badly. Need to rewind this to find how to fix this issue. You can probably avoid it by closing firefox before you start the copy (hopefully).

164. Gerry - September 26, 2008

On firefox, rewinding the above changes to the original state, closing firefox then doing the copy, and all is now good.

165. Marnen Laibow-Koser - October 1, 2008

Thanks for this advice! One note, though: at least on Hardy, it looks like rsync does a far better job than cpio in keeping permissions intact.

166. How to create a separate home partition in Ubuntu « Linuxtipstricks’s Weblog - October 5, 2008

[...] Even though I created the form of this tutorial, the steps outlined in it are taken directly from a text-only (command-line-driven) guide for this process. [...]

167. ligtv izle - October 21, 2008

yoq

168. campery - October 22, 2008

if you don’t know a lot about how your system works and especially things like mount and fstab.

Then you really should not be attempting this.

There are a lot of cries for help up above from people who got in over their heads and screwed up their system.

The tip about using find with cpio is pretty cool! usually I use rsync which also gets the job done *and* fully verifies the result.

169. Web Sites of Interest » links for 2008-10-23 - October 24, 2008

[...] Move /home to it’s own partition « Ubuntu Blog (tags: unix ubuntu tutorials tutorial tips sysadmin reference) steve on October 23rd, 2008 | Filed under 15 | [...]

170. Fr33d0m - October 25, 2008

To all who visit this post. It is wrong and out of date, do not follow it.

You might also consider blocking this blog since the owner cannot be bothered to fix all the errors, flag it for the proper version of Ubuntu, and cannot be bothered to update it.

171. Move home to its own partition « Harsh Kumar’s Weblog - October 26, 2008
172. conan - October 27, 2008

Apologies if this has been addressed before, but I followed this tutorial and encountered a bunch of errors when copying the contents of my home folder. What the command above is trying to do is find everything in the home folder, and pass that list to the cpio command (the very handy pipe symbol: |). I had permission errors at this point, so instead of piping directly to the cpio command, pipe to the cpio command with a sudo before it:

find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

that should give the cpio command the permissions it needs. worked for me! great tutorial, thanks

173. conan - October 27, 2008

oh, and also use –null and –sparse instead of -null and -sparse like MTCD mentioned above. I used this on Ubuntu EEE and had no probs except for that. thanks!

174. LinuxLAB - October 29, 2008

there is some damn geniuses on here isnt there? damn
thanks to the writer especially for the debian info from a previous lesson, most helpful. my heart is with you as far as some of the responses you got, sorry for their stupidity and self amazement as they discover themselves what you had just told them! I wonder if they even know who they are…

175. Mezigue - October 29, 2008

On January 4, 2007 ( 47. Paulo Leandro ) asked if it is possible to move /home to a USB. I have a eeePC 4G with a HCSD 8GB card and I made an eeebuntu fresh install with the SSD sda1 in / and the HCSD sdb1 in /home, both ext2, with the idea to definitly keep the card in the pc, as an internal drive. But everytime I boot, I have a fsck message “unclean shutdown – checking drives: /dev/sdb1 … stage 1/5 xx/60″ then it boots OK. How could I prevent this error (not only mask with fstab UUID …..0 0) ?

176. Marc - November 9, 2008

Thank you!!!

177. Bars of Ham » Blog Archive » Move /home to it’s own directory - November 14, 2008

[...] Read on at his blog… [...]

178. Moonlate's Notes: move-home-to-its-own-partition - November 16, 2008

[...] http://ubuntu.wordpress.com/2006/01/29/move-home-to-its-own-partition/ page_revision: 0, last_edited: 1226834797|%e %b %Y, %H:%M %Z (%O ago) edittags history files [...]

179. IT Administrators » After The Fact… - November 20, 2008

[...] All of my computers are now on Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex).  That’s a Dell D820, a Precision 650, the GQ computer  that I picked up at Fry’s a couple years ago, and even the One.  I’m usually cautious about moving from a LTS edition to a newer version, but for some reason I decided to pull the trigger on upgrading each of my systems instead of performing complete reloads.  All four machines upgraded without catastrophic failures.  I did have to reload the kernel modules for my sound card on the Aspire, but it’s not a big deal.  On the Precision, some lunkhead sysadmin (who is reamining nameless) forgot to move /home to the second drive last time.  All I needed were these instructions and I was back in business: http://ubuntu.wordpress.com/2006/01/29/move-home-to-its-own-partition/ [...]

180. jack - November 20, 2008

i prefer to make /usr/local its own partition, then mv /home to /usr/local/ and put a symlink to /usr/local/home in /.
that way all of your own source code, programs and home dirs are safe when you need reinstall or reformat.

181. seo bilgi - November 25, 2008

okey

182. Electronic Manufacturing - November 27, 2008

Thank you!!!I used this on Ubuntu EEE and had no probs except for that. thanks!

183. Compton - November 29, 2008

Thanks a lot! This totally worked for me, but I think WordPress is converting double dashes to a single em-dash, eg before the options in the following command:

$find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

It even does it in the comments (I think!) so if above there are single, longer dashes before the ‘null’ and ‘sparse’ options, they are supposed to be double dashes (ie two minus signs in a row)

I actually used your guide to accomplish the reverse procedure: move my separate home partition onto the main Ubuntu system partition.

I’m doing this partly for disk space reasons but primarily cos I’m going to be installing Gentoo as multi-boot and I think it’ll be simpler to keep each distro’s home in the system partition it belongs to. I know you can share a home partition, but surely there’d be problems if you have different versions of apps installed on the different distros (not to mention Linux kernel versions).

184. Install Ubuntu on MSI Wind - Sky - November 29, 2008

[...] last thing is to move the /home directory to my last partition. Follow the instruction from this Ubuntu blog. This entry was written by sky, posted on November 30, 2008 at 1:12 am, filed under Linux, [...]

185. deco - December 10, 2008

The find/cpio duo seems not to preserve the owner/right for all the copied files even if you use -m :
$find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -mpvd /mnt/newhome/

I used this:

$cd /home
$cp -av –preserve=all . /mnt/newhome/

Hope it helps.

186. Jeff - January 8, 2009

Dear Sirs,
Thank you very much for your advice. However, I encountered a problem after migrating the /home directory from the “/” (root) directory to a new location (a new logical volume on a different harddisk). Basically, a user can login the server, but ending in the root directory, not the user’s directory. After login, the user however can switch to his/her directory by typing “cd ~”. Both methods suggested by you to move the home directory, i.e. “cp -av –preserve=all . /mnt/newhome/” and
“find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome”) have the same glitch in my hand. When I tried to login the server using Pietty, it gave the following error message:
“Could not chdir to home directory /home/jshen: Permission denied
-bash: .bashrc: No such file or directory”. Then a couple of seconds later, the system dropped to the root directory.

I would appreciate it very much if one of your experts can help me out.

187. Jeff - January 9, 2009

By the way, this problem is encountered only when I login the server using ssh. Everything is fine if I access the machine directly. Hopefully this will give you one more clue to help me.

188. 2006 - January 21, 2009

pV8ZVS hi! nice site!

189. bob - February 11, 2009

I was getting an error from the cpio command, needed a different type of pipe shown below

bash: .: -d: invalid option
.: usage: . filename [arguments]
cpio: You must specify one of -oipt options.
Try `cpio –help’ or `cpio –usage’ for more information.

it should be

cpio -–null -–sparse -pvd

190. After The Fact? : Mike Schoon - February 13, 2009

[...] All of my computers are now on Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex).  That’s a Dell D820, a Precision 650, the GQ computer  that I picked up at Fry’s a couple years ago, and even the One.  I’m usually cautious about moving from a LTS edition to a newer version, but for some reason I decided to pull the trigger on upgrading each of my systems instead of performing complete reloads.  All four machines upgraded without catastrophic failures.  I did have to reload the kernel modules for my sound card on the Aspire, but it’s not a big deal.  On the Precision, some lunkhead sysadmin (who is reamining nameless) forgot to move /home to the second drive last time.  All I needed were these instructions and I was back in business: http://ubuntu.wordpress.com/2006/01/29/move-home-to-its-own-partition/ [...]

191. #su roop » Blog Archive » Moving /home to it’s own partition - March 5, 2009

[...] find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /media/newhome source: link& [...]

192. tarpipe - March 19, 2009

stumbled upon the tar pipe

tar -cf – . | ( cd /mnt/newhome/ && tar -xvpf – )

the p preserves permissions and ownerships

ref : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tar_(file_format)#Tarpipe

just curious if the tar pipe might be of a bit more helpful than find | cpio for preserving the perms and ownerships in this case

happy if this is of any help. your blog was of immense help to me

thanks

193. Allen Meyers - April 19, 2009

I welcomed this with great anticipation at 77 years old and when I was able to mount the newly created partition I thought I was home free. Doing this on Jaunty and it works until I get to find phase and am directed to Try `cpio –help’ or `cpio –usage’ for more information.
Then my 77 yr old comprehension challenges really kick in. So I wait with great anticipation for an option to get me past “find” stage

194. Not quite novice - April 28, 2009

I know, I know you can tell straight away from my odd socks, gormless expression and sweaty palms I am a complete noob but please help! I also apologise if these questions are out of turn or out of place here but this article seems to be the defacto authority on moving your home directory so…

1.) I want to do this but with a RAID1 array as a destination. The array already has a hefty amount of stuff on it so will it be possible to resize the single ‘partition’ I created on it, which currently occupies all the available space of the constituent disks?

2.) Is that necessary? I understand the benefits as described here but must home be a physical partition of it’s own or can it be a simple mounted directory. My aim for moving it is primarily more to do with getting the home directory off of the CF card that runs the system and onto the raid array.

3.) Yep you spotted it, my setup is a built-by-beginner NAS, with a 4GB CF card, and 2 Sata drives in a RAID 1 array. I used the ubuntu server cd to install it so everything system related went on the CF card (boot, swap, home etc). Once the system was setup I could then create the array. Is it now the case I should be moving MORE than just home off of the card and onto the array?

4.) When you move home to a new partition am I missing what happens to the existing partition? is that dissolved and it’s space added to one of the other partitions on the original device?

5.) Currently now on the array I have a folder per user that I share via NFS, is it advisable to do away with this and share the home directories of those users instead?

I know it’s a lot of questions guys but any help would genuinely be appreciated. My googling skills have taken me only so far and now, obi-wans, I need you help

D!

195. Iftikhar - May 2, 2009

Great post, helped me a lot, however I would recommend using tar to archive home and untar on the new partition since the aforementioned resulted created a bit a of an issue.
Thanks again

196. Oba - May 5, 2009

Hello
Problems with settin /home folder to NTFS partition (using WinXP and need common partition.) Previousle I had Kubuntu Ibex (8.10) and /home folder worked fine from NTFS. The updated Kubuntu to Jaunty, still worked, but lot’s of other problems. Now I installed fresh Ubuntu Jaunty and now it gives “User’s $HOME/.dmrc” file is being ignored. This prevents the default session and language from being saved. File should be owned by user and have 644 permission. User $HOME directory must be owned by user and not writable by other users” message, because of file permissions.
So wondering is there something modifications in Kubuntu or why it works there.
With google study the basic story is that ” It won’t work in NTFS”;

197. Cephi - May 9, 2009

This is frakkin’ sweet. Reading this has tipped me over in my decision of whether or not to get an EeePC 901. I was worried about the small 4Gb primary partition. Now that I know I can keep my home folder on the (slower, secondary) 8Gb partition, I’m totally going for it.

Question: I’m wondering if there are other space-consuming folders that I could treat in the same way, moving them to a larger and slightly slower SSD (to make more room on the primary partition) — without significantly adversely affecting system performance. /usr/bin? /usr/java? Or is that a terrible idea? Suggestions would be much appreciated.

198. CR - May 11, 2009

I have used the following rsync command instead (of find / cpio), from my ubuntu “rescue disk”, to move my whole file system to a new hard disk, and the old home directory to a new exclusive partition (which I share with a dual boot windows system, installed on another part):

sudo rsync -havPHAWX /media/old_disk/ /media/new_disk/

the “google man page” says everything needed to know, but i got most of the options from “rsync –help”.

all i needed to do was keeping /etc/fstab file, the /boot dir from the new_disk fresh install, for grubs, and doing some simple merging tweak on them. worked great!

I just don’t know why can’t nautilus or dolphin copy system be like this. rsync is great for many reasons, for one it continues from where it stopped, even if the process breaks for any reason. and i can’t see any downside compared to regular copy methods.

just as a note, this is good to use when dealing with many files, to get directories size:

sudo du -shc *

199. gustavo - May 12, 2009

Ok this is what I HAD to do to make it work for Jaunty Jackalope:

Create new partition to host new home directory.

Restart Ubuntu, open a Terminal window and run blkid to obtain device id and uuid. Take note of those values.

Create temporary home directory:

sudo mkdir /mnt/newhome

Edit fstab:

gksu gedit /etc/fstab

Add the following entry at the end of file:

# /dev/sda6 home was added manually by username to make home its own partition
UUID=a6045679-28e9-4ce5-9843-01c65913f691 /mnt/newhome ext3 nodev,nosuid 0 2

*You will need to replace information according to your system. Save and close fstab.

Run this command to commit changes:

sudo mount –a

Cd to /home and run the following command to copy all files to /mnt/newhome:

sudo find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio –null –sparse –pvd /mnt/newhome/

Now, the moment of truth. Rename /home to /old_home:

sudo mv /home /old_home

Then create new home:

sudo mkdir /home

Here most likely you will have to go into a failsafe terminal session to mount your new home partition to the newly created /home.

Once in failsafe terminal session run:

gksu gedit /etc/fstab

Change mount point from /mnt/newhome to /home. Save and close ftab.

Commit changes:

sudo mount –a

Also you will have to fix /home permissions for every user. Do this by going into Recovery Mode.

Run these commands for every user:

chown -R username:username /home/username
chmod 644 /home/username/.dmrc
chmod 644 /home/username/.ICEauthority

Exit Recovery Mode and boot up.

That worked for me.

200. gustavo - May 12, 2009

don’t forget the double dashes before null and sparse for cpio command

201. Craig - May 13, 2009

Have been at the for 8 hours now, this is my 3rd attempt!

Followed this but ended up with a disk full of the subdirectories from the user directory, but no user directory! So it was useless. Any advice? Why doesn’t the username directory get copied?

202. Open SUNY » Blog Archive » Ubuntu - Move Home Directory to its Own Partition - May 28, 2009

[...] if you’re like me, you didn’t realize this unti well after your Ubuntu install. Here are some instructions on how to move your home directory after an Ubuntu install. Now that summer is here, I’ll probably be trying this in the next few days. « Ubuntu [...]

203. David - May 30, 2009

I think I follow the logic. All except one step
sudo mkdir /home
Doesn’t this create a /home directory on / ? How does it know to create the directory on /dev/hda5?
I don’t want to risk trying this Howto until I understand it.

204. Mirai Warren - June 11, 2009

The partition /dev/hda[0-9] is mounted on the directory /home with the command $ sudo mount /dev/hda5 /home. Mount does not create directories for you

205. Mike - July 2, 2009

I suggest using sudo -i for the copying – you could very well end up needing root permission (especially if you use these directions for moving something other than /home)

206. David Tapia - July 9, 2009

I will like to know how to do this when installing Ubuntu from scratch? I am new to the whole thing and the information sometimes doesn’t make since to me. I have a computer with 2 HD one is 40Gb and 80Gb. I am thinking of installing Ubuntu in the 40Gb making it my primary drive and then installing /home in the 80Gb mainly because I have a lot of pictures that I will like to keep safe from the O/S drive. Does this make since or is there a better way than purchasing additional hardware (External usb drive etc.)

207. David Tapia - July 9, 2009

Ps. I forgot to mention that I wanted to install Ubuntu Studio as well. Like I had mention before I am new and I want to be able to learn and practice without putting my data at risk.

Thanks again.

208. VINI - July 16, 2009

I JUST WANT TO THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

WORKS JUST GREAT FOR ME!!

THANK’S FROM BRAZIL!!

209. realgt - July 25, 2009

@gustavo

thx, saved me from a blank desktop. CTRL+ALT+F1 and ran these commands to get me up and running

sudo chown -R username:username /home/username
sudo chmod 644 /home/username/.dmrc
sudo chmod 644 /home/username/.ICEauthority

210. Ian H - July 25, 2009

what is wrong with

$ cd /home
$ sudo cp -a * /newhome

211. Blake Elias - August 13, 2009

If I only have 1 user on my system, can I do this procedure for the /home/blake directory? Because I tried that and it doesn’t seem to work.

My goal is to have an NTFS partition containing only my profile, mounted in the /home/blake directory, and since I also dual boot with Windows, mount that same partition as both P: and into C:\Documents and Settings\Blake\.

212. Grey-Bearded Geek » Blog Archive » Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala on Dell Inspiron 6000 - October 31, 2009

[...] didn’t do an upgrade, I reformatted my primary partition, and installed it clean. I keep my /home directory on a separate partition precisely so that I can do this easily, every 6 months as a new release comes [...]

213. yuNus - November 8, 2009

Thanx
Good share

214. Helton - November 9, 2009

Great post, very very useful and straightforward

I would rather (and actually did) leave my oldhome alone for a while, before deleting or formatting it, just for the case…

Thanks

215. shapeshifter - November 25, 2009

hi thx for a good post on moving home to a new linux partition. one point though. psychocats said, “I also ran into the /home directory (mount point) not existing when I followed these instructions, so I tried to correct that in my tutorial”. However, I can’t see how the pschocats post is clearer. I’m at the point, “Mount the new home”, which is not included in the psychocats post. It seems logical to “mk” a new home directory on the /root partition & then mount the home partition to this. Would be great if you could clarify this, & how should the /home partition be structured? As /home/username/[data & files]? What I mean is, what level should we mount? The top level /home? The user level /home/username? Or the lower level /home/user/[data files etc]?

216. shapeshifter - November 25, 2009

hi thx for a good post on moving home to a new linux partition. one point though. psychocats said, “I also ran into the /home directory (mount point) not existing when I followed these instructions, so I tried to correct that in my tutorial”. However, I can’t see how the pschocats post is clearer. I’m at the point, “Mount the new home”, which is not included in the psychocats post. It seems logical to “mk” a new home directory on the /root partition & then mount the home partition to this. Would be great if you could clarify this, & how should the /home partition be structured? As /home/username/[data & files]? What I mean is, what level should we mount? The top level /home? The user level /home/username? Or the lower level /home/user/[data files etc]?

217. shapeshifter - November 25, 2009

cannot edit fstab. getting xauthorization error. so unmounted, but cannot logout of /root partition.

218. shapeshifter - November 25, 2009

edited fstab and added UUID for Mint 7. I think my problem is a permissions problem.On reboot keep getting cannot find /home/username. In recovery mode chown says the same, but says my /dev/sdaxx where my new home is located, is already mounted.

219. Turkdogan - December 3, 2009

Thank you very much! It works like a charm.

220. solstance - December 28, 2009

Thank you so much for the tutorial. Initially I wanted to resize my filesystem partition taking some space from unallocated space but there seems to be no way so I decided just to make the home folder mounted with my original home folder which was nearly outspaced.

This works well although I needed to use live cd first then login to console to put the line on /etc/fstab

221. DC - January 10, 2010

Things like this can end up doing more harm than good.

Firstly the /home partition MUST be a native Linux filesystem that supports all Linux attributes (like all folders used for Linux system purposes) – most people will do this be default but those that don’t will encounter all sorts of grief.

Unless the original posts of ancient blogs like this are kept up to date, then the chances of novice users reading (and understanding) every subsequent post are low – and end up being an invitation to trouble.

222. Nazza - January 26, 2010

Ubuntu 9.04 – worked just fine :D

Thanks!

223. patrick - February 3, 2010

ok, hi!

i just messed up and unmounted my home dir thinking everything transfered and i was wrong

i cannot access, well anything, unless im in the terminal, and i’m kinda , just kinda new to linux, so i’m not great at the terminal, still learning it

can anyone help me remount the /home folder? from the terminal, it seems where everything is done :’[

i ran the “$find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/” as “sudo find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/”
and i realized only after that access was denied, what gives, i created the partition from an old windows partition

did i miss some thing?

these are my partitions as they are now…

sda1 windows 7
sda2 ntfs data
sda3 linux ubuntu 9.04
sda4 ext4 /newhome

since i cannot access anything via the menus is seems to me that i may have to do things from the live disc if not from the terminal, (if linux restarts) eitherway, i’m going to be copying things the hard way i think :( for data salvage

224. patrick - February 3, 2010

i think i realized part of my problem was that i didn’t add the new home partition within the extended partition that holds ubuntu, disallowing me access to files and folders withing the /dev/sda4 partition

looking at it now, still how do you re-mount the original home folder ?

225. David - February 3, 2010

I think you can recover this from the terminal. Please post a copy of your /etc/fstab.

226. patrick - February 4, 2010

well,
actually managed to recover it, it didn’t take the terminal to do it either
i deleted the sda4 partition in windows and restarted laptop, and ran ubuntu in recovery mode, and the home partition was back to the norm, and it only took about 45 seconds! how sweet is that :)

ok, no i’ve repartitioned the drive so that sda3 contains sda 5 and 6 and anew partition of 45gigs for home

@David i assume that the /ect/fstab is back to normal, but here it is…

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
#
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
# /dev/sda5
UUID=c2b0ac93-e8b9-4743-b12b-5d1e89ac2a6a / ext3 relatime,erro$
# /dev/sda6
UUID=7e348ba5-a366-41d1-a24e-5ca5310da28a none swap sw $
/dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0

227. David - February 4, 2010

To Patrick,

Well done! Always make a copy of fstab before modifying it:

sudo cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab.old

Then, if you stuff it up, you can easily restore the original version by reversing the above command:

sudo cp /etc/fstab.old /etc/fstab

and then reboot.

Good Ubuntuing!

228. patrick - February 8, 2010

ok, so i took some time before i tried this again :)

anyways

1] my user name is listed as “patrick – Patrick”

and i keep getting errors, i assume it’s because there’s a couple of spaces…

patrick@patrick-laptop:~$ sudo chown patrick – Patrick:patrick /media/newhome
chown: cannot access `-’: No such file or directory
chown: cannot access `Patrick:patrick’: No such file or directory
patrick@patrick-laptop:~$

i also tried this…
patrick@patrick-laptop:~$ sudo chown patrick:patrick /media/newhome

but nothing seems to happen, and the permissions stay the same

am i doing something wrong???

2] the version i’m using is ubuntu 9.04 updated as of today… my update manager says “Your system is up-to-date” and that the package info was updated an hour ago… it used to give me an option to upgrade to 9.10, does this mean I’m using 9.10 instead of 9.04???

229. David - February 8, 2010

sudo chown patrick /media/newhome is all you need.

230. hayim - February 28, 2010

Thanks! This worked, with the additions people have posted!

Carthik: you should *UPDATE* the guide to include

* ‘sudo’ in the cpio command

* chown’ing of the newly created /home/user directory

A lot of people won’t read the comments til it’s too late!

h.

231. robert - March 3, 2010

@realgt

Thank you for this!
I’m not a linux guru so I’m glad to found this hint after doing this tutorial. I guess this is missing in it.

232. Darren - March 5, 2010

I just started with ubuntu 9.10 I have found how to share with windows thru samba and have that working I want to use this as a server so I shouldn’t need much more, work will still be done on a PC for now but where is a good source for learning ubuntu and what it has to offer for the office?

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236. Marcus James - May 6, 2010

the chown command should be chown -hR fred /mnt/newhome

237. Alquiler de barcos en Ibiza - May 27, 2010

I eventually figured out that /opt is a great directory to make a separate partition also. Most of the stuff that gets installed in /opt (Adobe Acrobat, Crossover Office, Cedega, etc) is statically compiled and should work with any version of any distro, so when you upgrade or decide to try another distro, these packages (that oh-by-the-way probably aren’t shipped with your distro) will still be intact. Since I have /opt handy for that purpose, I also move the fake-windows directories created by cxoffice and Cedega there, and make symlinks in my home directory.

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This gets around the nasty solution of adding a class to the first or last item in every row — something I’ve seen with abundance around the web.

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241. Francesco - August 9, 2010

Great tutorial!
But, two advices: first, I think it’s better to issue the “find” command in sudo mode -I tried without first, and it didn’t copy two folders complaining about lack of privileges. If I hadn’t carefully checked the output of the command I would have lost them. And, I think it would be better to explain what the options in the “mount at boot” instruction means -reading from another site, about the last value, that “any positive number will make the disk be checked at boot”, I thought that there wasn’t any difference and put 1… only after it caused an error I found out that it specifies the order in which partitions are checked, and that any partition must be checked after the one it’s going to be mounted in.

Besides that, many thanks for your help!

242. /home dizinini partiona taşıma « KodFeed - August 29, 2010
243. travesti - September 14, 2010

thanks admin, good post!

244. ubuntu convert - September 17, 2010

I tried it and it seems to work.
Now, how can I verify that it INDEED had moved over to the new partition? As you can probably tell, I’m a Windoze convert and need to see proof with my own eyes. QQ

245. demopoly - September 21, 2010

Wow, thanks for the help! There were literally thousands of files that had not been copied correctly. I’m glad I had an actual backup! I had the ’10.04 no ipv4′ issue and just fought with the ubuntu install for weeks to get it back to 9.10 without losing all my data. Failed. I did a full backup of the disk, and reinstalled 9.10. Then I realized what you’re saying about having a /home dir and made one.

But, I installed 10.04.1 and had no home dir! /home was EMPTY. I had to root, and copy it all from backup. I don’t know why it blanked, but this is why you always keep backups, right? lol. So, I used your cpio method to make a good copy and now it’s all working again.

THANK YOU.

I like ubuntu, but the forum support at ubuntu is horrible, they challenge everything rather than helping, like “Why are you doing that? Do it this way instead. I don’t care if that works for you or not.” The whole anti-root and mp3-hating in the ubuntu forums is maddenly stupid.

Users don’t care about your geek opinion, they want a system that works. Period. Deny that and you lose market share.

MSFT never learned that lesson, and I hope Ubuntu doesn’t forget it.

246. fade2gray - September 25, 2010

Great blog – thanks.

Readers may find the following tip useful.

Using …
$( cd /home ; tar cfv – . ) | ( cd /mnt/newhome ; tar xf – )

Rather than …
[quote]
$cd /home/
$find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/
[/quote]

… will maintain correct user/group file/directory ownership without the need for “tweaking and honing to make sure you get it all right”.

247. porno sikiş - September 27, 2010

i just installed gentoo alongwith ubuntu(a triple boot system with windows)…and i would like to be working with the same /home in both linux-es..is it possible to mount /home from ubuntu partition into my gentoo partition?

248. sex sikiş - September 28, 2010

Thanks precinto, I added that to the command in the hope that it will help someone. I also fixed a typo, and added the instruction to create a new /home after moving the old to /old_home.

249. pornoizle - October 28, 2010

Thanks precinto, I added that to the command in the hope that it will help someone. thanks

250. pornoizle - October 28, 2010

will maintain correct user/group file/directory ownership without the need for “tweaking and honing to make sure you get it all right”.

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252. Free documentaries - November 3, 2010

this article was helpfull for my brother

253. Richard - November 13, 2010

Hey, nice post. Is there a way to do this graphically?

254. fade2gray - November 13, 2010

Webmin makes the whole process relatively simple.

“Webmin is a web-based interface for system administration for Unix.”

http://www.webmin.com

255. Xpro.se » Linux Nybörjartips - November 15, 2010

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256. sibel kekilli - December 21, 2010

Nice blog here man i’m ubuntu user and find your stuff quite effective

257. Derek - January 8, 2011

This worked great for me. Thank you very much for your detailed instructions. In particular, I am glad you pointed out every instance where an entry would have to be replaced by the user to reflect their own system. Apart from that, the commands worked verbatim! No missing su or sudo, as is also so often the case.

The one comment I have regards the fstab step. Looking at the file in /etc, I could see they used TAB spaces where you had entered a regular character space. I wonder if this would make a difference in end result. Regardless, I think that using tabs and pointing out their location in text would be clearer for readers. A newbie myself, I was holding my breath on startup!

Also, I performed this on the current testing version of Debian — “Squeeze”.

258. Werner - March 22, 2011

Great instructions!

Naively I did this all as root (i.e. copy), in which case one has to remember to reassign owner and group of the folders in home to the appropriate owner.

Thanks
Werner

259. fade2gray - March 22, 2011

@Werner

See comment 246.

It’s a shame the OP doesn’t edit the first post to include this.

Werner - March 22, 2011

Just noted your answer.

Figgered it out in the mean time too, after having noticed that the sub-folder dicts were still owned by root.

Anyhow, thanks for the pointer and hopefully the OP will add some notes about these things when he/she has a moment.

260. Werner - March 22, 2011

The above fixes the problem I run into with access problems on .ICEauthority file.

However I still have an issue that I get the following error:
“The panel encountered a problem while loading “OAFIID:Gnome_IndicatorApplet” – options don’t delete or delete and the same for “Gnome_FastUserSwitchApplet”.

Can’t find a solution for this yet.

261. Werner - March 22, 2011

chown -R username:username userhomefolder

That did the trick.

Werner

262. Navaneethan Ramasamy - April 18, 2011

Similar that If we possible to increase the size of the / partition?? without affecting the datas?

263. Purejobs - April 23, 2011

Interesting views I see, but how do you do this graphically?

264. fade2gray - April 23, 2011

@Purejobs

See reply 254

265. Jeroen - May 4, 2011

You may want to add the alternative for the copy of home-folder with sudo:

109. Charlie Armor – January 10, 2008

Permissions error

If you’re using ‘sudo’ remember to put a second sudo after the pipe to run cpio command

sudo find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

Had this problem before but thx to Charlie here i got it solved, but i noticed more people had this problem.

266. Brad - May 20, 2011

Fantastic, this worked first time, it was really quick and straight forward. Thanks for helping me out, started running out of space on my root partition, without a working DVD rom in my laptop I couldn’t resize the partitions, but moving them worked.

Cheers!

267. Derpy Hooves - July 23, 2011

I’ve copied everything over to the new partition, but I can’t find the partition from the file browser. From gparted, I can see that it’s mounted to /mnt/newhome and only has 424.93 MB used. I’m pretty sure that my /home is a bit larger than that…

268. porno - July 25, 2011

Had this problem before but thx to Charlie here i got it solved, but i noticed more people had this problem.

269. kopiluwakku - July 29, 2011

Thanks! And thank you for your valuable comments.

270. ukrayna vizesi - July 30, 2011

iyi

271. antalya böcek ilaçlama - August 7, 2011

Had this problem before but thx to Charlie here i got it solved, but i noticed more people had this problem.

272. Kang Salman - August 22, 2011

Great instructions!

Naively I did this all as root (i.e. copy), in which case one has to remember to reassign owner and group of the folders in home to the appropriate owner.

Thanks

273. joseph - August 23, 2011
274. dewhopper - August 30, 2011

awesome post……..love it…….i am on opensuse…nd i hav got the help here……thnx dude………mission accomplished flawlessly..

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276. Paulo - September 28, 2011

Great tutorial!
As a matter of fact, to avoid loosing data during re-installation or any other tragic event, I store it in other hd’s, leaving an old 80 GB IDE just for the OS.
The problem is that I am constantly redirecting new data to the non-SO hds. I wander there is a way to simply assign /home to the other hd, so that new data will automatically be stored there.
Forgive me if the term assign is not correct. I was a happy user of Commodore-Amiga OS, that allowed to use the assign command to redirect data from one place to other.
Sorry for my poor English – I am Brazilian.

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Thank you,

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301. MotherDawg - March 27, 2013

===>>> S E L I N U X <<<===
Since this method works perfectly, I would not be surprise that most of the people that are having problem re-accessing their home directory are facing AVC: denied.
That is if your distribution is running selinux. (duh…)

Type "sestatus" in a console and see:
SELinux status: enabled
SELinuxfs mount: /selinux
Current mode: enforcing
Mode from config file: enforcing
Policy version: 24
Policy from config file: targeted

Try "grep avc /var/log/audit/audit.log"
You should might find a long line that goes something like:
type=AVC msg=audit(—): avc: denied

If you do… give it a "setenforce 0" command (0 as in zero for permissive) then try to login again.
Setting back to enforcing mode is "setenforce 1"

Apart from that… RTFM. ;-p
Since I only do RPMs
http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/SELinux

Never forget, always have fun fiddling with computers. If one can't achieve that, collecting stamps might just be the thing…

(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
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(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━━┻)
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(╯°□°)╯︵(\ .o.)\ FYT!
ಠ_ಠ
¯\(°_o)/¯

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305. Hellmark - June 5, 2013

If you’re having problems with errors about your home directory not existing, or not being able to enter the home directory on log in, then it may be an issue with SELinux. You may want to issue the following command as root

touch /.autorelabel

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